Monday 30 July 1660

Sat at our office to-day, and my father came this day the first time to see us at my new office. And Mrs. Crisp by chance came in and sat with us, looked over our house and advised about the furnishing of it. This afternoon I got my 50l., due to me for my first quarter’s salary as Secretary to my Lord, paid to Tho. Hater for me, which he received and brought home to me, of which I am full glad.

To Westminster and among other things met with Mr. Moore, and took him and his friend, a bookseller of Paul’s Churchyard, to the Rhenish Winehouse, and drinking there the sword-bearer of London (Mr. Man) came to ask for us, with whom we sat late, discoursing about the worth of my office of Clerk of the Acts, which he hath a mind to buy, and I asked four years’ purchase. We are to speak more of it to-morrow. Home on foot, and seeing him at home at Butler’s merry, he lent me a torch, which Will carried, and so home.

25 Annotations

Judy Bailey   Link to this

So far, money seems to be transferred in cash person-to-person and kept track of in account books. What kind of banking system was in place in London at this time and what services were used? Could one borrow money, for example? Did many people use banks? Why or why not?

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Butler's merry -> Butlersbury
According to L&M the last sentence is “Home on foot; and seeing him at home in Butlersbury, he lent me a torch, which Will carried; and so home.”
I guess this wording implies that he saw Mr. Man to his home at Butlersbury and then went home from there.

Alan Bedford   Link to this

It's beginning to look like any government job could be bought or sold in Pepys' day! William Man appears interested in purchasing Sam's new position, and Sam has come up with an asking price. It seems to me that four years' pay (if I read it correctly) would have been a fairly rich amount, and probably out of Man's range.

vincent   Link to this

"...he lent me a torch, which Will carried.." I just wonder why ? no mites or no boy to light the way?
Buying and selling of Commissions was a natural feature of life at that time as selling futures on the grain market today. It was rummoured that it was a 20th century habit too for certain military positions:
Any body! Know where Butlersbury would be?
Cash was king until 1960's. When banks & bank transfer systems robberies were the rage for transfering cash from Legitimate organisations to the under world.
Opening a Bank account in the 60's was a major operation, To open an account at a bank and deposit monies, one had to know a person of substance like the local JP to vouch for your character.

chip   Link to this

I found the first line extraordinary, how Pepys interchanges the plural possessive pronoun for the singular. Note it is our office that then becomes my new office. And again, Mrs. Crisp looked over our house. And did anyone else notice that 50l is a quarter of 200l. Was not Pepys' salary either 100l or 350l? The numbers just do not add up. I was astonished that Pepys was willing to sell the commission so rapidly, whether at the 800l or 1400l rate. Of course he sees himself worth 120l at the moment as we learned last night. Incidentally, Vincent, cash is still King, much used by the underworld.

Sam Sampson   Link to this

Butlersbury = Bucklersbury?
A search on Butlersbury gave 25 sites, all in the US, but Google kindly suggested I try Bucklersbury. Top of that list was a place in Hitchin, near Luton, but that's a 38 mile walk, a bit long even for SP. The site is worth a visit for photos of existing medieval building.
http://www.discoverhitchin.com/bucklers.htm
A London real estate agent site gave "Bucklersbury is situated at the junction between Queen Victoria Street and Walbrook, near the Mansion House" and a link to a map:
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?P2M?P=...
IMHO - there have been a few transcrition errors, and this is the place Sam is talking of.

Sam Sampson   Link to this

Bucklersbury
If my above assumption is correct, we may need a Bucklersbury link in "Places" please Phil. A few appropriate links include.

Museum of London - "The Bucklersbury Pavement" {Roman). Access from:
http://www.museum-london.org.uk/frames.shtml?ht...

London Ancestor - "Cheapside, Poultry, & Bucklersbury" - an etching
http://www.londonancestor.com/views/vl-cheaps0.htm

The Tertullian Project - "John Clement and his Books" - Bucklersbury as the 'Apothecary Quarter' ca 1520
http://www.tertullian.org/articles/reed_john_cl...
Shades of SP "In 1518, having been promoted to the service of Cardinal Wolsey, Clement was warned by Erasmus against studying at night, and advised to learn to write standing when on duty, an unusual occupation for a gentleman-in-waiting."
More to come...

Pauline   Link to this

"I was astonished that Pepys was willing to sell the commission so rapidly"
Two things, Chip:
He hasn't said he was willing.
He has always appeared hot and cold about this job.

And then there is the house and Montagu/Sandwich's persuasiveness.

Matthew   Link to this

Wages adding up.
S.P. specifies that the 50 l. is payment as secretary to "my lord", which is presumably in addition to his payment as Clerk of the Acts.

Mary   Link to this

Banking in 17th Century London.

For a brief but interesting note on banking during this period, see www.hoaresbank.co.uk/html/history. In 1660 most folk did not use any form of banking as we understand it. Money could be kept at a goldsmith's (secure premises) or otherwise at home or business premises in a heavy chest or well hidden about the house. No such things as cheques existed, but money could be transferred both as cash in hand and by promissory note, or note of hand.

helena murphy   Link to this

Had Pepys ever wished to sell his position as Clerk of the Acts it is unlikely that he would have done so without consulting Lord Sandwich,to whom he owes the post, who is not only his patron but also his relative which further binds the relationship.The job also connects him to a wider world such as the aristocratic milieu of the Montagues, The House of Lords ,and the Stuart Court through the Lord High Admiralty of James, Duke of York. This however may not be always evident as Pepys generally tends to be rather self effacing about the office.

vincent   Link to this

see www.hoaresbank.co.uk/html/history
s/b http://www.hoaresbank.co.uk/html/flashversion.html
Banking has changed radically: no longer pay envelopes full of coins for working masses (they did not trust banks especially after the 1929 fiasco ):

A great status symbol to be known by the local bank manager. A 5l note was very rare too, when a living wage was 30 shillings and a cuppa of tay was a 1d.

john lauer   Link to this

Sam S, We're confused now --
are you saying Bucklersbury is not any 38 miles, but just blocks away, so it is walking distance for a man and boy with torch??

Sam Sampson   Link to this

Bucklersbury
Sorry for the confusion John, I didn't explain that well. I found two Bucklersbury's in the UK.

1. Bucklersbury - Hitchin, which is 38 miles from London. I linked to it, as medieval buildings which have survived to the present day. Slightly off-topic, but interesting.

2. Bucklersbury - London, which the map link locates. It's only 0.8 miles from Pepys' home. The other Bucklersbury links are to that location.

Barbara   Link to this

Bucklersbury still exists, just south of the Bank of England. It would be about a third of the distance between St Paul's Churchyard and Seething Lane and not out of the way. I assume Will returned the torch the next day!

Glyn   Link to this

I've just noticed that Hoare's Bank in Fleet Street has a blue plaque on the front of the building saying that it is on "the site of the Mitre Tavern". This is the Mitre Tavern that Sam visited on 21 January and 18 February.

Linda Camidge   Link to this

Neall Stephenson's Baroque trilogy is good on early banking (at least, I assume it's good. It's certainly coherent) and a fantastic read - I'd recommend it to anyone interested enough in the period. and lierate enough, to follow SP.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the sword-bearer of London" known by his uniform?!

The coat of arms [of the City of London] is "anciently recorded" at the College of Arms.... The crest and supporters came into use in the 17th century, but were used without authority until 30 April 1957, when they were confirmed and granted by letters patent from the College of Arms. / The crest is a dragon's wing bearing the cross of St George, borne upon a peer's helm. A primitive form of the crest first appeared in 1539 on the reverse of a new common seal. This showed a fan-like object bearing a cross. Over time this evolved into a dragon's wing, and was shown as such in 1633 when it appeared above the city's coat of arms in the frontispiece to the fourth edition of John Stow's Survey of London. It has been speculated that the use of a peer's helmet (rather than that of a gentleman, in other civic arms) relates to the use of the honorific prefix "The Right Honourable" by the Lord Mayor. The helm was confirmed in 1957. However, there are various representations of the arms being surmounted by a 'Muscovy Hat' as worn by the City Swordbearer over the Stuart and Georgian period most notably as carved on the George Dance Porch of the Guildhall. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London#Arm...

The Esquires at the Mansion House; The City Marshall, the Sword Bearer and the Common Crier/ Mace Bearer; these run the Lord Mayor's official residence, the office and accompany him on all occasions, usually senior military officers with diplomatic experience. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London_Cor...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

" Mrs. Crisp by chance came in and sat with us, looked over our house and advised about the furnishing of it. "

Probably solicited advice: L&M note Pepys had remarked on the fine furnishings of her house in Axe Yard 17 March
[see the entry's end]: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/03/17/

Dick Wilson   Link to this

In today's English, the British call a "torch" what Americans call a "Flashlight". Presumably, the borrowed "torch" was some kind of device to hold fire. Has the term "lantern" changed over time?

Chris Squire UK   Link to this

In this case SP, sans electricity, called a torch a torch:

‘torch, n. Etym: Middle English < Old French torche < late popular Latin *torca . . The primary sense is taken to have been ‘a twist’, ‘something twisted’, torches having been made of twisted tow dipped in pitch, or the like . .
1. a. A light to be carried in the hand, consisting of a stick of resinous wood, or of twisted hemp or similar material soaked with tallow, resin, or other inflammable substance . . now also = electric torch n. 2.
c1290 S. Eng. Leg. I. 467/187 With-oute liȝht of torche.
. . 1609 Shakespeare Troilus & Cressida v. i. 82 Follow his torch, he goes to Calcas tent.
1721 N. Bailey Universal Etymol. Eng. Dict., A Torch..a Staff of Deal on which Wax-Candles are
. . 1906 Daily Chron. 14 July 5 The ordinary tarred-rope torch . . ‘ [OED]

What do Americans call them - if they have them?

Bill   Link to this

Torch

Gillian Bagwell   Link to this

Bucklersbury is now reduced to being an arch in a building that leads to the Bank underground station. I've passed it countless times. If you look at the street view on Google maps, it is part of the reddish and whitish striped building and behind and obscured by the red bus in the photo.
According to the Encyclopedia of London, Bucklersbury was "an ancient City street first mentioned in the 14th century. It was named after the Buckerel family who were powerful in the City in the 12th century. Their fortified house (bury) stood back from the street in Poultry. In 1183 this was sold to Hasculf de Tania. From 1505 to 1511, Sir Thomas More lived here in a large house where his four children were born. Erasmus stayed with him in 1506 and 1508, when he wrote 'Moriae Enconium.' The title is a pun on More's name. In Shakespeare's time the street was known for its apothecaries, and in 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' he mentions the peculiar smell of Bucklersbury. In 1863 the street was cut in two by Queen Victoria Street."
P. 111, The Encyclopedia of London, Ben Weinreb, Christopher Hibbert, Julia Keay, John Keay (great book, by the way).

Gillian Bagwell   Link to this

Bucklersbury, Part 2: More about the Google Street View. Initially, you see an Iron Mountain truck, You have to rotate to the right to see the other side of the street to find Bucklersbury. I've just realized that the street sign reading "Bucklersbury Passage" is on the wall just to the left of the bus, though it's not really legible in the photo. If you click on it and move in, you see a group of a few people standing just outside the entrance to the passage - a woman in a black skirt and white blouse, two guys in suits. A man in a white shirt and carrying a backpack appears to be headed for the passage and presumably the underground.

Mary K   Link to this

Bucklersbury still exists as the short street that runs between Queen Victoria Street and Walbrook.

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